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"We're all grown men and we should know how to behave"


Ben Duckett appears to be the scapegoat of an English cricket board desperate to stamp out drunken behaviour, having been told he is on his final warning after pouring a drink on the head of Jimmy Anderson.

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The England and Wales Cricket Board have made it clear Duckett’s career is at the crossroads in a “final written warning in respect of his conduct as an England player”.

Duckett has also been fined the maximum amount for an England A player (approximately $2700) and he will sit out that squad’s remaining fixtures on their Australian tour.

Duckett will stay in Perth to run drinks for England A until their Australian trip ends on Sunday.

The batsman, who has played four Tests and was convicted of drink-driving in 2015, was set to feature in a tour game involving Ashes squad members in Perth.

He was stood down from that match as the ECB investigated the incident that occurred at a Perth bar during the early hours of Friday morning.

Ben Stokes, Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Plunkett and Jake Ball have also been pulled up by the ECB for their booze-related lack of professionalism in recent months.

But at this stage, none of their punishments has been as severe as that dished out to Duckett.

The ECB won’t settle on a sanction for Stokes until UK prosecutors announce whether they will charge the vice-captain over his part in a Bristol brawl.

Bairstow was fined for “professional misconduct” when he and other players were drinking in Bristol the night of Stokes’ stoush, but he was cleared of any wrongdoing after it emerged he headbutted Cameron Bancroft during England’s first night on tour in Australia.

The Duckett-Anderson drama unfolded the first night after ECB director of cricket Andrew Strauss agreed to a temporary relaxing of a midnight curfew, which was imposed two weeks ago as a result of the Bairstow headbutt.

The timing of the saga is far from ideal with the third Ashes Test starting on Thursday. England will relinquish the urn if they lose the WACA clash. 

Incredulous coach Trevor Bayliss is seething about the sideshow that former England skipper Kevin Pietersen has branded a “f***ing embarrassment”.

“We might have to review who is in the team. Blokes can’t keep making the same mistake. Some guys have got to pull their heads in,” Bayliss said.

Moeen Ali also expressed his disappointment on the weekend.

“It’s important we inspire the younger generation to take up the game. These kind of things possibly can turn them away and that’s not what we want,” Moeen said.

“We’re all grown men and we should know how to behave.

“Off-field behaviour needs to improve and we all know that.”


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